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Bibi to Obama & America: Drop Dead!

The following article was forwarded to me by Rabbi Michael Lerner from the Tikkun Daily site. I present it below (edited for space):

Puppets & Jackals...

Puppets & Jackals…

In 1990, Secretary of State James Baker had basically had it up to here with the Israeli government. The Bush administration [George the Elder] had been trying to entice Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir into negotiations with the Palestinians, but he kept adding new conditions to get the US off his back.

To be acceptable to Shamir, any Palestinian [negotiator] had to have no connections with the PLO, none with any associates of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and could not be from Jerusalem. The Israelis would decide which Palestinians were acceptable as negotiating partners.

Baker was fuming but held his tongue until he went before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to discuss Middle East prospects. But then something happened and, for perhaps the last time ever, a top U.S. government official told the Israelis what he really thought.

First Baker said that he had intended to say that he was ready for a new start with the Shamir government but he changed his mind on the way to the hearing. ”I have to tell you, that before I came to this hearing this morning, I was given a copy of some wire reports, one of which quotes one of the ministers in the newly formed government,” he said.

Those “wire reports” cited top Israeli officials announcing new conditions for negotiations, according to Thomas Friedman of the NY Times.

“Earlier today, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir added an additional condition: that Palestinian negotiators must formally embrace Israel’s idea that negotiations would be about autonomy for the occupied territories and nothing more before talks could begin. The American position is that the talks should open with a discussion about autonomy, but then eventually move on to issues of final status.”BibiBong

In other words, [Shamir’s position of] “autonomy” would have meant that Israel could keep all the land, but Palestinians would have the responsibility for municipal services like schools, sanitation and health. It was the perfect solution…for Israel.

Baker blew up. He told the committee, “If that is going to be the Israeli approach, there won’t be any dialogue and there won’t be any peace, and the United States of America can’t make it happen.  You can’t. I can’t. The President can’t.”

He then said that until the Israelis changed their attitude, the Bush administration was going to disengage from the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

He told the Israelis, “When you’re serious about peace, call us. The telephone number is 1-202-456-1414.” And that was that. The first Bush administration never reconciled with Shamir.

Shamir later admitted that he had no intention of ever accommodating the Palestinians in any way.  In an interview after leaving office, he said: I would have carried out autonomy talks for 10 years, and meanwhile we would have [settled] half a million people in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]. Baker’s approach was totally vindicated.MIDEAST ISRAEL SETTLEMENTS

Yesterday, Shamir’s protégé Binyamin [Bibi] Netanyahu, openly adopted Shamir’s strategy. We need not wait for his retirement to realize that, like Shamir’s, it is designed to prevent negotiations not advance them.

Ha’aretz [Israel’s afternoon newspaper] reported that the Netanyahu government has informed Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel is not interested in discussing land and borders.

A senior Israeli official, who asked to remain anonymous, expressed…“Kerry believes that he can bring about the solution, the treaty and the salvation,” he said. “He thinks that the conflict is primarily over territory…and that is wrong.”

Wrong? No, that is what the conflict has been about since the occupation began in 1967 and certainly since Israel and the PLO agreed that both sides have the right to peace and security. So we are back to Shamir and the bad old days before Itshak Rabin [who was assassinated for his “pro-Palestinian” negotiations by an ultra-Zionist, 04Nov’95].

The good news is that Netanyahu has made everything so clear. He has no interest in peace, negotiations, any kind of territorial withdrawal or even freezing settlements. Like Shamir, he just wants to buy time until it will be absolutely impossible to create a Palestinian state, if it isn’t already. Netanyahu is not interested in what the US wants.

Apartheid Settlement Construction...

Apartheid Settlement Construction…

The only question left is what the Obama administration will do in response. It could follow Baker’s example and take a walk. Even better, it could tell Netanyahu that future aid from the U.S. will be linked to its occasional compliance with U.S. wishes regarding the occupation.

Or it could say it won’t keep following Israel’s dictates on sanctions or Palestine’s right to recognition by the United Nations. Or it could, as Bush Senior and Baker did, squeeze the Israeli prime minister until the Israeli public dumps him.

It could do any of those. Will it? I’m taking bets.

But here is a sure one. There is no possibility of serious negotiation so long as Binyamin Netanyahu is prime minister of Israel.


MJ Rosenberg, Tikkun Daily, April 11th, 2013.


Category: Israel, Palestine
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